Worried residents in Dorset have tipped-off the county’s trading standards after receiving telephone calls from a company who are offering a device which is said to save energy. The cold callers are claiming the device can cut up to 40% off energy bills.
The trading standards department of Dorset County Council have been urging customers to be careful of anyone trying to sell the bogus device. The devices are said to be a fire risk and do not save energy. The plug-in device is being offered at £99 from people who claim to work with their energy supplier.
DCC trading standards service manager, Ivan Hancock, is reported to have said the callers appear credible, and are knowledgeable of the consumer’s energy supplier, and also some of their financial details, including debit and credit card details. He went on to say that the scam seems to be operating from outside the UK and targets older people, who are more likely to be attracted to lowering their energy costs.
Five of the bogus companies have been named so far: Athico Ltd; 1 Stop Marketing Solutions, ITC Development Corp, Power Saver and Sorbet. These companies use accommodation addresses in London, but appear to be India or US based, Mr Hancock went on to say. The devices all appear to have been posted in the UK, but from several different post offices.
Several previous victims of this scam have also been contacted by a bogus claims management company. The victims are then offered their ‘compensation’ cheque of between £2,000 and £3,000 in return for the victim purchasing a voucher for up to £300, when the voucher number is called in, the cheque is supposed to be sent out.
Victims of this scam can get help from Action Fraud on their website, or by telephoning Citizens Advice consumer service. They will be able to stop any debit/credit card payments by contacting their bank. People who have received a device have been urged to dispose of it responsibly.